Wed Feb 6, 2013 2:52PM
The European Union's (EU) General Court has ordered the bloc to lift sanctions against the Iranian state-owned Bank Saderat. The Court ordered removal of Bank Saderat sanctions on Wednesday saying that the EU has failed to provide evidence that the bank is involved in Iran's nuclear energy program The EU has two months to appeal the verdict Last Week, the European Court of Justice also issued a similar ruling about Bank Mellat which has also been the target of anti-Iran sanctions. In December 2012, the Luxemburg-based Court of Justice also ordered the EU to lift its sanctions against Iranian private bank, Sina. At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the EU imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran. The sanctions entered into force last summer. On October 15, 2012, the EU foreign ministers reached an agreement on another round of sanctions against Iran. The illegal US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. PG/HGH/SS